Monday 19 August 2019

'#280characters? What is this, a Game of Thrones appendix?' - mixed response to Twitter's new feature

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Waking up to Twitter this morning is a slightly worrying experience as users are taking full advantage of the new 280 character limit.

That's double the number of characters we're used to and most people appear to see the new limit as a challenge.

Many are enjoying the novelty of filling so much space with words even if that means writing the same sentence over and over again a la Jack Nicholson in The Shining, or quoting song lyrics, or the Bible.

Let's hope the novelty wears off soon.

According to Aliza Rosen, a product manager with Twitter, testing of the 280 limit showed that most people don't try to fill up the extra space.

"We were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets and that people with the new limit would always use up the whole space," said Aliza

"But that didn’t happen [during the experimental period]. Only 5pc of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2pc were over 190 characters. As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline."

In fact, the experiment showed that those in their 280-character experimental group got more retweets, likes and followers when they got more space.

If this morning is anything to go by, however, we're not so sure...

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